Friday, April 5, 2013

Writing Tense Action Scenes

On March 14, I was once again a guest blogger on DP Lyle, MD's excellent blog, The Writer's Forensics Blog. Here's the beginning of my blog post over there, with a link to the rest of it:

WRITING TENSE ACTION SCENES

Style that Sizzles_Final_mediumby Jodie Renner, freelance fiction editor and craft-of-fiction writer

I specialize in editing thrillers and other fast-paced, suspenseful fiction, and someone recently asked me how editing thrillers is different from editing other genres. That’s a huge topic, too much for one blog post, and would include differences in plot, characterization, pacing, word choice, and writing style, among many other considerations. For today, I thought I’d just talk about writing effective action scenes, which can also appear in romantic suspense, mysteries, action adventures, fantasies, and any other genre.

When your characters are running for their lives, write tight and leave out a lot of description, especially little insignificant details about their surroundings. Of course, if the details would somehow help them, then definitely include them.

Characters on the run don’t have time to sightsee, reminisce, deliberate at length, or have great long discussions. Their adrenaline is pumping and all they’re thinking of is survival. Show that in your writing style.

A few quick tips for writing strong action scenes:

~ Show, don’t tell (of course!).

~ Stay in the scene with the characters – don’t intrude as the author to explain anything.

~ Avoid lengthy discussions among characters or long, involved thought processes.

For the rest of this article, click HERE.


Jodie Renner is a freelance fiction editor who specializes in thrillers, mysteries, and other fast-paced fiction. For more info on Jodie’s editing services and her books, please visit her website. Jodie has published two books to date in her series, An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction: Writing and Killer Thriller, a short e-book, and Style That Sizzles & Pacing for Power, which is available in paperback, as an e-book on Kindle, and in other e-book formats. And you don’t need to own an e-reader to purchase and enjoy e-books. You can download them to your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

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